Lawmakers today will talk over a plan to hike Minnesota's minimum wage. Work to create a Minnesota health insurance exchange grinds its way through the Legislature with a hearing in the House Ways and Means committee.
In Washington, big automatic federal budget cuts could kick in starting Friday.
Minn. lawmakers this week consider minimum wage bills (MPR News)
"A bill in the Senate would raise the minimum wage for large employers from $6.15 an hour to $7.50. A House bill would increase the minimum wage for large employers to $8.35 an hour this year, $9.45 next year and $10.55 an hour in 2015."
Child care union bill coming (MPR News)
Union officials say legislation introduced today will let child care providers collectively bargain with the State of Minnesota. An organizing attempt last year failed when a Ramsey County judge blocked a vote in response to union opponents.
Schools, defense lose if automatic federal cuts kick in (MPR News)
White House says state schools could lose as much as $16 million in federal aid, and would be among the state's biggest losers if the cuts take hold this week. Other cuts would affect civilian Defense Department employees and environmental grants.
Data show self-defense shootings rare for Minnesota permit holders (Star Tribune)
"Even though a record number of Minnesotans have permits to carry firearms, only a tiny number ever have pulled the trigger in self-defense."
Red Wing mayor resigns after criticism on lobbying job (MPR News)
"The mayor of Red Wing is stepping down after being criticized for taking a job with a lobbyist group for the frac sand industry."
Gun control advocates lacking organization (WCCO)
"As large crowds lined the State Capitol hallways for gun violence hearings, gun control advocates admit they've been out-organized."
Lawmaker seeks statewide survey on frac sand mining (MPR News)
Red Wing Sen. Matt Schmit wants to study the impact of sand mining on air, water quality, roads and bridges. Schmit says his bill would allow local governments to extend their moratoriums on frac sand mining for two years.
Minnesota GOP doing some soul searching after eviction from power (Pioneer Press)
"After one of its worst election cycles in decades, the state GOP finds itself weighing whether a new course must be charted to win more voters and fend off the possibility of remaining a minority party for years."
Dayton officials: $19 million saved in gov't streamlining (Star Tribune)
The savings came by centralizing the government's "piecemeal, agency-by-agency approach to technology, using its consolidated purchasing power to bargain for a better deal."
Obama exaggerating impact of automatic cuts, GOP senator says (CBS News)
The big sequester gamble: How badly will the cuts hurt? (Washington Post)
Policast for Feb. 25, 2013:
Former Republican House Minority Leader Marty Seifert now says it was "dumb" to discipline Republicans who helped override the veto of the transportation bill in 2008.
The six Republican House lawmakers who joined DFLers to override former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto were stripped of their leadership positions. Some of them also lost their party endorsement, and one even joined the DFL. Only two of the six Republican House members who voted for the override are still in office as Republicans.
At the time, Seifert was unapologetic about the decision to remove the lawmakers from their positions.
"These are leadership positions where we expect other Republicans to follow along," Seifert told MPR News in 2008.
But Seifert told Cathy Wurzer during a Policast interview Monday that disciplining the so-called "Override Six" was a mistake.
"I, on a personal level, think it was dumb for me when we had the gas tax override to do anything in regard to the members that were involved in that. I've since then called all of them personally and told them that.
When we took some titles away from them or whatever it was. I should have just told my caucus, you know what, if you want to bounce me as a leader, just do it, but people are going to vote their district and their conscience and that's just the way it is."
Seifert said he now believes that both parties should allow individual members to vote their conscience on contentious issues at the Capitol.
Policast is a daily roundup of Minnesota political news. The entire interview with former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert and former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher can be heard in the Monday, Feb. 25 episode.(1 Comments)